Shared Research Field
Every academic discipline profits from reflection on its own doings. This entails keeping up with the development of the academic system and, in the case of jurisprudence, of the legal system of which it is a part. Jurists must reflect on the history of their discipline and on the history of their research objects to build on existing analytical traditions, to identify and, if necessary, to overcome path dependencies. If a reflection on legal history is an essential component of each sub-discipline of jurisprudence, then legal history must also continuously and critically re-evaluate the foundations of its own work. The dynamic changes associated with the transnationalisation of law and academic research serve only to reinforce this imperative. The Max Planck Institute for European Legal History has assumed the task of encouraging such reflection on the goals and methods of legal history through academic events and publications on these questions. Among other efforts, the Max Planck Summer Academy for Legal History as well as the book series methodica – Einführungen in die rechtshistorische Forschung (Introductions to the Methods of Legal History), which is managed by the Institute’s own researchers, serve this purpose.